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Roger Ebert's First Movie Review Was Published 47 Years Ago This Month

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 7, 2014 4:40PM

Photo credit: Art Shay, published with permission.

Last Friday marked the one year anniversary of the death of Roger Ebert and his absence still resonates for many who waited for his next Tweet, Facebook update or essay on his website in his final days.

On April 18, 1967 the Chicago Sun-Times published Ebert’s first movie review, an initial step toward immortality. The 2-1/2 star review of George Lautner’s French New Wave film Galia contains elements of the conversational tone Ebert would perfect in his later writing and it serves as a unique time capsule of a writer driven to succeed and grow. Ebert’s canvas was a blank page, his paints were words and he wielded them with a pop sensibility akin to Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein.

Ever since the memorable “Breathless” and “Jules and Jim,” and the less memorable “La Verite,” we have been treated to a parade of young French girls running gaily toward the camera in slow motion, their hair waving in the wind in just such a way that we know immediately they are liberated, carefree, jolly and doomed.

Read the full review here and compare it to some of Ebert’s “Great Movies” series or his later writings for yourself.